This is really clever.
Appearing in the March 1955 edition of Popular Electronics magazine, "The
Electronic Husband" article is one wife's attempt to quantify her husband's interest
in all things electronic by adapting forms of Ohm's Law to fit observed behavior.
In the process of writing the parody, Mrs. Jeanne DeGood demonstrates an impressive
basic knowledge of Mr. DeGood's second passion (Mrs. DeGood being his
first, presumably). After all the articles that Melanie has proof read for me, she
knows a lot of these equations just as well, even if she doesn't know what they
The Electronic Husband
By Jeanne DeGood
When a man becomes interested in electronics, he becomes so tied down to his
work that his wife can't pull him away from his workbench. Such wives could use
the lessons learned in electronics to good advantage.
The simplest form of electric circuit is a man with work to be done, and resistance
connected to his terminals (see Fig. 1).
This circuit is broken or opened when a connection is removed at any point. The
connection to be broken is usually at a point between the husband and his workbench,
and the wife who desires her husband to work needs only to break this connection.
A switch is a device that may be used to break such a connection. Its use is
restricted largely to little boys, however, and it is seldom advisable in the case
of husbands. It is therefore necessary to find a substitute for a switch, and in
finding this substitute, wives may use Ohm's Law to good advantage:
This can be stated as follows: The work that I (me) want done is directly proportional
to what E (he) wants to do, and inversely proportional to his R (resistance) to
At this point, it is necessary to find units of measurement. Thus:
I = go to the grocery for me?
E = no!
R = ?
In order to find the value of the "no!" as it applies to the resistance, the
equation may be transposed:
E (no!) =1 (go?) R (resistance)
The simplest method of completing the equation at this point would be to remove
the R (resistance). This may be done easily when the resistance happens to be a
soldering gun, a tube tester, or a voltmeter. However, since the resistance in this
case happens to be a workbench, removing the resistance might be a bit difficult
for a 110-pound housewife.
It is obvious, therefore, that power and energy are the needed elements, and
that another equation is now needed:
P = EI
This can be stated: P (power) - the rate of doing work - is equal to E (amount
of energy required for the job) multiplied by I (the amount of interest in the job).
In this equation, power is measured in muscles, energy in vitamins, and interest
in facial expressions. And since facial expressions indicate no interest in going
to the grocery store, the equation may now read:
P (power) = E (energy) I (interest)
= E (energy) x 0
It is now necessary to find the efficiency of the husband's E (energy):
where: Eff. = amount of husband's useful energy
P0 = power outside
Pi = power inside
A quick glance shows us that P0 (power outside) may also be measured
in muscles. Pi (power inside) must be measured in vitamins.
A quick glance shows that more Pi (power inside) must be supplied,
so it is advisable at this point to add a piece of apple pie and a cup of coffee
to the Pi. Thus:
We have now arrived at the final equation:
W (work - getting it done) = P(patience) x T (time), for the husband has now
finished the work he was doing and is now ready to go to the grocery willingly.
Posted September 21, 2021
(updated from original post on 1/30/2014)